SWOT is a phrase and can be depicted as Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats. Basically it is a structure planning method that figures out those four elements of any organization, project or business venture or we can apply this methodology to personal level as well.
It is a well defined model that explains the internal and external influencing factors and how they may affect the organization or any initiative of any projects. SWOT analysis groups into major 2 key categories:
- External factors– The Strengths & Weaknesses internal to any Organization.
- Internal factors– The Opportunities and Threats presented by the environment and purely external to any Organization.
A typical SWOT analysis can be depicted as a 2*2 matrix as:
It depends upon the analysis of the organizational internal factors like strengths and weaknesses depending upon their effect on the objective. What may represent strengths with respect to some objective may become weaknesses for some other objective also! The most critical factor may include all of the 4P’s (product, price, place, promotion) as well as finance, personnel, manufacturing capabilities and abilities and so on it continues.
Similarly if we decipher the critical external factors which include macroscopic matters, legislation, sociocultural changes, Geographical impacts, economical impacts, seasonality effects in some cases and so on.
It is the first letter of the acronym which presents assertiveness of any successful organization. Strengths are the properties of any business venture which can answer questions like “What is good about our product?”, “What do we do well in our business?” etc etc. Strengths are purely internal for any venture and it leads to success and every venture is having its own strengths for operation. Some of the critical points can be noted down:
- Capabilities and abilities in all respects?
- Advantages of proportion?
- Man power, Available resources, and assets?
- Innovative aspects in market scenario?
- Price, Value and Quality standards?
- Experience, Knowledge and Data?
- Competitive advantages?
Every Organization has its own Weaknesses and it generally depicts some negative impact on any business successes. These are the things that don’t do well (or even perform poorly) or things are not so good about it. Weaknesses are also internal factors.
- Lacuna in capabilities?
- Disadvantages in proportion?
- Lack of competition in market?
- Process and System etc?
- Known vulnerabilities?
- Deadlines, time scale management pressures?
Opportunities are various combinations of different circumstances at a given point of time that can lead to a positive outcome, if taken advantages of! It may include new market conditions and scenarios, new techno advancements, competitive marketplace, or other acting forces.
- Market developments?
- Techno advancement and innovation?
- Geographical, Import and Export?
- Information and research?
- Global influences?
- Industry and lifestyle changes impact?
- Business and product development?
Threats are also amongst those external factors which can create negative impact on any business ventures or organization. That means threats do not benefit any company but there is nothing you can do to stop them from coming about. Threats are also beyond any group’s control.
- Political effects?
- Sociocultural effects?
- Environmental impacts?
- Market uneven demands?
- Insurmountable weaknesses?
- Climatic effects?
- Obstacles faced in market conditions?
The SWOT analysis is very beneficial in social work practice framework as it helps organizations to decide whether or not objective is attainable and therefore enables organizations to set their goals, objectives accordingly.